Book as Body

Book Reviews, Essays, Thoughts

Posts from the “SciFi/Fantasy” Category

DUNE

Posted on May 31, 2020

DUNE. The word may mean nothing to you, or it may evoke the greatest science fiction story ever told. Since its publication in 1965, Dune has captivated the minds of readers across the world. Dune lovers are almost as fanatic as the Fremen when it comes to worshiping their god – Frank Herbert – the genius behind the six-novel series. It’s been dubbed the “bible of science fiction.” And after reading it for the first time in 2020, I finally understand. One of Dune’s main appeals is its scale. Herbert’s universe and its relationship to humans transcends millions of years. It involves the rise and fall of complex societies, religious jihad, and the struggle for power between feudalistic great houses within an interplanetary empire.…

Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang

Posted on January 18, 2020

Sometimes, I really miss my university days.  One of my favorite classes I ever took was a humanities course called Topics: Science Fiction as Myth. I signed up because I had just taken a fantastic Intro to Classic Greek Myth course with the professor who was going to teach it. A couple of times a week, in one of a hundred cramped classrooms within a deteriorating liberal arts building, we would all whip out our gigantic Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction and discuss the short stories within. The professor created this class by combining his extensive knowledge of ancient myths with the relatively nascent genre of science fiction. His assertion was that sci-fi literature was modern myth-making. Myths are stories that play a fundamental…

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

Posted on November 26, 2019

“This is what you must remember: the ending of one story is just the beginning of another.” The Fifth Season is a breath of fresh air. It’s the first book in a Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF here on out) trilogy called The Broken Earth. In 2016, The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, sending N.K. Jemisin into the literary spotlight. She was the first black author to win the prize. She joined a prestigious list of previous winners, including SFF legends Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. She distinguished herself further when the next two novels in her trilogy continued to win the same award in 2017 and 2018. She is the only…